tv BBC World News America PBS March 29, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news america."
>> welcome to "bbc world news america." arab leaders to meet amid tight security. there are general protests in spain amid soaring unemployment. robert redford gets ready to bring sundance to london but his review of u.s. politicians is less than glowing. >> it is all about winning and what the ego is attached to winning and what people will say just to win. >> welcome to our viewers on
pbs in america and also around the globe. for the first time in more than two decades, today, the arab league held at their summit in baghdad. despite the security risks, the symbolism was plain to see. as for substance, only a handful of arab leaders showed up and the turmoil in syria, where the one says that a million people need humanitarian assistance, overshadowed everything. >> it has cost a fortune, but at this stage at the summit, thousands of police and heavily armed swat teams on the streets of baghdad. there has also been a day long curfew. relations are still tense. it is not surprising that the leaders of many gulf sunni states stayed away. many have been deterred by the
sectarian the situation. two blasts not far from the conference center and began just as the conference did. delegates, formally supported a u.n. plan to end the fighting. >> the syrian has met with kofi annan, excepting his plan which was endorsed by the united nations security council. the world is waiting for commitments to be translated into action. >> even as they spoke, and there but -- unverifiable footage emerged of mortar shells being launched into homs. they appealed to syria's arab neighbors for help. then, they call to god. these images show protesters and
aleppo coming under fire. they say that the regime is not resisted in dialogue until its opponents have been routed. if anything, the situation is getting worse. 9000 people have been killed, but the army continues its offensive. as the delegates in baghdad departed, and other lavish but inconclusive arab league summit, they acknowledged that the situation in syria to take a long time to resolve. there is still a huge security presence on the streets and it cost a small fortune to stage at this summit. iraq has declared the whole thing a big success even though on a major issue affecting the region, syria, there has been little if any progress. >> for more on today's meeting, i am joined by the former adviser to the iraqi government
after the fall of saddam hussein's. thank you for joining us. we think about the arab world as a homogenous thing but only 10 out of 22 leaders showed up which indicates a huge level of disunity. >> don't forget, this is the first arab summit after the arabs spring. you have new faces and new leaders. >> four new leaders. >> four new leaders. for iraq, this was extremely significant. there has always been disunity and difficulty in getting consensus. where progress can be acknowledged for iraq is the progress and for the new faces from the air about spring. -- the arab spring. >> it cost half a billion dollar
s to business stage. there is a lot that divides the arab league nations. gulf states want more intervention. others are not so sure, like iraq. as it happens, iraq was in the middle ground because iraq is not simply arguing for preserving the regime, but also strongly arguing against pushing syria towards breakdown. >> iraq, out of self interest knows exactly what sort of back wind will blow on iraq itself. the syrian state, if it was too breakdown or have a civil war. out of self-interest, iraq is draw the line to say give kofi annan a good support and a good chance. this has been a point of consensus that at least united
the conference. >> in terms of what keeps them apart, this issue is very divisive amongst them. >> as they said, some minimum has been achieved which is an endorsement of what is going on. no new initiative has been launched because you cannot undermine the current initiative by starting a new one. in that respect, i think it is important. >> syria has not taken any thing seriously from the arab league anyway. >> there is initiative on the table and it has the support of the arab summit and everyone would like to give it a chance to move on. you cannot call it a failure and that they did not agree on a position on syria but at the same time, you can ask what is the big deal. what is the progress? they did not significantly contributes to the advancement but it is important to draw the line to say that we are behind
it. >> the iraqi prime minister talked of a proxy war if anyone was to arm either side in syria. that is a worrying prospect. >> there is a real worry in the region that what is happening is not purely or exclusively a domestic issue. there are so many hands of all. what ever happens in syria would magnify this for the rest of the region. what the prime investor has said it is spelling it as it is. it -- the prime minister has said it is spelling it out as it is. >> thank you very much for joining us. let's take a look at some other news. the council of europe has criticized nato for failing to do more in preventing migrants from drowning at sea. in one instance, only nine people survived in a dingy that
left tripoli with 72 people on board. and the body of again man who shot dead seven people in and around the city of toulouse has been buried there. the mayor did not want mohamed merah barre to there. algeria refused to take him because of security concerns. leaders of the coup have said that they would like a discussion on how to bring the president back to power. strikes and austerity seem to go hand-in-hand over the past few months but today it was spain where protesters took a stand. the government insists that the disruption was minimal but the message is clear -- there is rising discontent with officials to say that they're trying to
ease the economic problems and rain in skyrocketing unemployment. >> trouble on the streets of barcelona. spain is not a country used to violent protests, even in these austere times. but even before the main protests began, anger at government cuts and reform. scenes like this have been isolated to the city but there have been dozens of arrests across the country. they are trying to keep businesses from opening and the authorities did what they could so people could go to work. many spanish commanders struggled on. -- commuters struggled on. for many workers, it has been business as usual. the government hopes that the labor reform will cut the soaring unemployment but it
comes before the day that the government announces its budget. we can expect more cuts to public services. officials in brussels said that madrid need to do more to reduce public spending and get its budget in order. demonstrations have been building steadily today. the unions say that spain should stand up to brussels, not about to pressure for more cuts. but the government says that they are committed to their program of reform and they will not change anything. they say that many have been working today and tomorrow they promise a very austere budget. that will only fuel more discontent. >> for more on the discontent boiling across spain, we can speak to tom who is in madrid. nearly a year ago, we had the inspiration for the occupy movement. this is a peaceful process. this is very different.
what has changed in that year? >> the instant we have seen in barcelona in particular are isolated. this does not represent the picture across the country. i don't think that we will see widespread social unrest becoming the norm but it reflects a level of discontent, particularly for young people in spain. the jobless rate in those under 25 is nearly one in two that are looking for work. that is a startling statistic. they would like to make it easier for people to fire people, opening in the long term it would be easier for them to hire people. that has gone down very badly by certain sectors of the population. >> do you think that spain is becoming the new greece in terms of public resentment at government actions to bring in austerity measures to keep in line with europe? >> i think that that is an interesting point. what we see coming from the unions is really this issue of
brussels leading spain and telling it what to do. one person we spoke to in the streets called spaying a market dictatorship and what he meant by that is that spain is being done -- being rolled by the markets. a lot of people believe that spain needs to reign in its spending. the only way is severe austerity. >> they would need to lose 40-41 billion euros. where can they cut? >> i don't know. we can find out tomorrow. the budget will be severe. one economist said, it either i am expecting a big surprise from this budget or it would not be credible. we will see huge cuts to government departments of about 15%-20%. public services, health, education would be affected.
spanish people feel strongly about protecting public services, public health system, public education system. that would endure people. the economy does not look good. we are expecting negative growth this year. no social unrest becoming the norm at the moment, but we will see. >> we will see indeed. thank you very much. while leaders in europe and the u.s. coupled with tough economic problems, they must be keeping an eye on their brics neighbors. their leaders met in new delhi on how to strengthen their business connections. one rural community in punjab is making the most of the economic boom.
>> india is cashing in on its rich farmland. a bounty that is fuelling the roll revolution. two decdecades ago, this man was heavily in debt. as the economy has boomed, so does demand for his oranges. this has gotten him $300,000 a year. the money has transformed his life to his family lives in a large home and he sends his children to boarding school. they have developed a taste for the urban luxury's that you would not find in the countryside. >> i bought my wife a microwave, a washing machine, a gas oven, everything to make her life easier. >> increasingly, rural india is where the money is. it has surged ahead. rising food prices may have hit
the pockets of those in the city but it has filled the wallets of people here. most indian villages are still really under developed, there are no proper roads, clean drinking water, or even enough electricity. what the government has done is pumped in enough money in to rule welfare programs, which with rising farm income, has left everyone here with a bit of cash to spare. -- what the government has done is pump money into rural welfare programs. they are generated much-needed business. >> people come and by many things. we are really benefiting. >> 2/3 of indians still lives in villages. that is a population of nearly 800 million people.
and market whose potential is only now being tapped. this is one reason why india is making giant economic strides and hoping to translate that into political clout. >> the changing face of india there, one of the brics countries. you're watching "bbc world is america," still to come -- memories of earl scruggs, a the person credited with creating bluegrass music. 100 years ago, robert falcon scott was returning from the south pole, a norwegian team had got there before him, and he was about to die in a blizzard. the u.k. held a first national service in his honor and we were there. >> they came from across the world to remember and explore
and his men who went to the furthest reaches but never returned. royalty and diplomats, fans and descendants of the team that set out on that fateful journey. he left on a race to the poll. despite meticulous planning, he was beaten. he struggle towards safety, surprise -- supplies ran low. the weather was atrocious. he wrote the last entry in his journal. >> had we live, i should have had a tale to tell of endurance, courage of my companions, which would have stirred the hearts of every englishmen. >> their words that have inspired him since he was a schoolboy. >> i certainly know the words.
i have known them all my life, really. they are very moving words. his writing in his last days has great nobility. >> scott's favorite hymn, " onward christian soldiers," sun today as it was -- sung as it was today as it was 100 years ago. there is a memorial that stands to him in antarctica. >> for decades, the sundance film festival has been known as one of the biggest showcases of cinema and celebrity. now, robert redford is bringing his festival to the u.k. and 100
films will make their debut. we sat down with an exclusive interview with redford in new york. he was not afraid to speak his mind, especially when it comes to politics. >> america, unmistakable, and in the eyes of millions, beautiful. you could say this about him. robert redford -- movie star, political activist, and the man behind the sundance film festival, which he is bringing to london. i asked him why. >> it is a different view of our country that i am very proud of because this is a legitimate view that this is different than what is being sold on the air and with a great deal of money to market. >> the festival is based around his home in utah. a place that gives some space to think, about the american way. >> is a country determined on winning as you can see an hour
guard political system. it is all about winning and the ego attached to winning and what people will do and say just to win. >> in 1972, he starred in "the candidate," and played a character who let his standards slip in the play for power. he thinks this has become reality in american political system. >> i think that our congress is not the best and brightest. i think it is obvious to the world that we are a polarized nation politically. it is very depressing to me to see the quality of discussion and intellectual exchange. this is damaged by the behavior of the people that are running for office. this is embarrassing. >> he revisited the dark side of american politics in "all the president's men" when he played
an investigative reporter. he had a high regard for journalism when it was made, less so now. >> i happened to tie into a moment in history that was a high point. i came in when journalism had reached an apex of morality and professionalism and so forth and i was very lucky. i think it is sad to say, it is pretty obvious that it has declined. >> redford found fame starring in alongside a paul newman in "butch cassidy and the sundance kid." today, the sundance kid is a grand old man. i asked him how he thinks that life has changed. >> i guess there is an obsession with use and there is all of these methods to reconstruct yourself younger and join your. i don't buy that. -- i guess there is an obsession with youth and there are all
these methods to reconstruct yourself. i was a at a restaurant and the table next to me was getting all worked out. they kept looking over. i said, something is coming. sure enough, then someone says, i have seen every move you have ever made. then they said, and we love your salad dressing. that was good for me. >> robert redford is an actor who chose to step on to the world stage in an attempt to play his part. it is a role that many would say that he has performed with integrity and intelligence. >> now, from the start of the biggest screen to one of music's rates -- greats. earl scruggs may not be
household names but his music and influence leave a lasting and pressure -- leave a lasting impression. ♪ ♪ >> rarely has any musical instrument been associated with one man but when it comes to the banjo, you began with earl scruggs. >> i started playing when i was 5 years old. i pretty much well lived and breathed the banjo. >> his three fingered a finger picking defined bluegrass. earl scruggs developed the skills was growing up in flint hill, north carolina. he was an immediate sensation
when he joined the bluegrass boys. the sounds of earl scruggs and his partner, their music became the shorthand for appellation america. -- appalacian america no wonder that he provided the theme song to "the beverly hillbillies." he also had fans among the counterculture, such as bob dylan. later, he performed at an anti- war demonstration. >> i am sincere, they should bring the boys back home. >> from the sand track to "bonnie and clyde," to his many imitators, earl scruggs leaves a legacy. when you hear a banjo today, you
are almost certainly hearing the sounds of earl scruggs. >> amazing to watch him ticking away like that. before we go, there is one story that we wanted to share with you. another big star that is making a wave. the sheet shocked people when she appeared outside a coffee ocked n county -- she shco people when she appeared outside ave coffee shop. from all of us here at "bbc world is america," thank you for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you?